How to Pick the Best Certified Nursing Assistant School Near Oro Valley Arizona
Now that you have decided to enter the medical field as a certified nursing assistant, it's time to begin the process of searching for CNA training classes near Oro Valley AZ. After you have achieved your certification, you will begin a gratifying career in one of the most rapidly increasing positions in medical care within the USA. Although it might seem like a challenging endeavor, it's essential that you pick the best school to receive the proper training and education. A number of prospective students start with the two most basic qualifications, which are the location of the school and the price of tuition. You might also be debating whether to attend CNA classes on campus, or enroll in an online CNA course and attend them at home. More on that alternative later. But completing your due diligence prior to deciding on a school involves far more than comparing the price or location. Such things as accreditation and the reputation of the school must also be taken into consideration. We will be covering those subjects together with a few other questions that you should be asking before you enroll in a CNA school. But first, let's discuss a little bit about what a nursing assistant does and the type of training and credentials that are available.
It Takes Just a Few Minutes to Start Your CNA Career
The Duties of a CNA
A Certified Nursing Assistant is an important member of any medical organization. As a matter of fact, medical care couldn’t happen without CNAs. The CNA is responsible for the immediate care of patients or residents of the healthcare facility or agency that she or he works for. CNAs also help with daily activities such as dressing, bathing and eating. And they also have the responsibility of keeping their patients safe and comfortable. As a member of a team, the CNA reports to a nurse, typically a Registerd Nurse. Nurses rely on CNAs for patient vital signs, tests, and their observations about the condition of each of their patients. CNAs also manage scheduling with other Oro Valley AZ healthcare professionals such as physical, occupational, or speech therapists. The work can be physically demanding, including positioning, lifting, and moving patients during their shift. CNAs spend most of their time on their feet because there is always something to do. But all in all, it’s the perfect profession for those who like to keep busy and help people while treating them with dignity and respect.
CNA DiplomasIn contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at community colleges or at Oro Valley AZ vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or "hands-on" training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it's important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online CNA Training
Enrolling in CNA schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a certificate or diploma in Oro Valley AZ. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online CNA programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online CNA program will make it easier to fit earning a certificate into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask CNA Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous CNA schools and colleges throughout Arizona and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education and employment in the Oro Valley AZ area, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Certification Preparation. Certification prerequisites for CNAs are different from state to state. For CNA certification, passing a state specific exam is required. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well. It's essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum certification standards for Arizona or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Arizona school certification or licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oro Valley AZ healthcare organizations you're interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the CNA programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It's also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Oro Valley AZ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a certified nursing assistant is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for certification also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby Oro Valley AZ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right Oro Valley Nurse Assistant Training
Enrolling in the best certified nursing assistant college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a CNA school and a certificate program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a certified nursing assistant in Oro Valley Arizona.